Apple has plans for invisible Macbook buttons. It’s not some kind of Harry Potter style wizardry but the next step in Jonathan Ive’s quest to banish visible buttons for good. The new Apple patent application takes tech already at work in the Magic Mouse to the next level and could build invisible touch and pressure sensitive controls right into the body of future Macbook and Macbook Pro models.
The Apple patent application details making laser-cut, micro-perforated holes in the body of a device. That would allow for controls which would only become visible when you touched them. That would allow for entirely invisible Macbook controls and Apple details applications including indicators built into the laptop’s lid and an invisible scroll wheel.
Apple brings up the example of the Magic Mouse in the patent application saying that the invisible Macbook controls would work a conventional track pad to detect how fast your finger is moving over it and would recognise multitouch gestures.
Apple has already implemented design features similar to the patent application’s invisible Macbook buttons in the current Macbook generation where the standby lights glow through the aluminium. Jonathan Ive has previously said: “You should only see an indicator when it’s indicating.”